Before the Galaxy needed Guarding, before the news of formic super scientists and before the Avengers began Hulk smashing box-office records all over the place, there was talk that Marvel wanted to do a Doctor Strange movie.
Due to Doctor Strange’s more extreme occult and magical leanings, it was always hinted at that he’d only be introduced once Thor’s cinematic adventures established the more esoteric sides of the Marvel Universe; possibly show up for one of those patented after-credits scenes.
But what if he has more than just a cameo role to play?
This whole rumour actually started a while back on The Playlist, back when there was still very early talks about what the 2nd Phase of Marvel’s cinematic universe would be like. At the time, it was nothing more than just another crazy theory almost drowned out in a veritable sea of crazy. But the thing is, a lot of that peripheral crazy has since turned out to be true, which has suddenly given this particular rumour a lot more street cred.
And the rumour was this: Dr Stephen Strange’s origins would be tweaked slightly from being the brilliant neurosurgeon he was in the comics to now being an established scientist that will be working alongside Natalie Portman’s Jane Foster in the Thor: The Dark World, studying all things Asgardian and being pretty important to all three acts of story, much like Stellan Skarsgard’s Dr Erik Selvig in the first film.
And as some of you eagle-eyed geeks may recall, Dr Strange’s origin story was technically already introduced in that film. There is a scene set in Odin’s vault, where if you’re quick enough with a pause button, you get a glimpse of a whole whackload of Marvel Universe artifacts of power (For the uninformed, Screenrant did a great write up on all of them, including a glimpse in Strange’s comic book origins). The most notable was of course the Infinity Gauntlet, and with Thanos’ introduction at the end of The Avengers, you can bet your reality warping handwear that that’ll show up pretty soon again. However, two pedestals over, nestled between the Eternal Flame and the Tablet of Life there was what clearly looked to be the Orb of Agomoto, one of the mystical artifacts that helped Dr Strange go from genius medical practitioner to Sorceror Surpreme of the Marvel Universe.
So yeah, Strange and Thor already have ties, and having him become a central character in the sequel, where he perhaps comes into contact with some mystical artifacts which set him on the path of eventually becoming the supernatural hero that he is, is suddenly not seeming so far fetched. At the time, the rumour was that Marvel was going after rapidly rising star Joel Edgerton for the role, as they needed somebody who could eventually shoulder the load of a spin-off standalone movie. But with the actor’s ever increasing workload, that part of the rumour seems a complete bust.
However, this is where it gets even more interesting. There’s a twitter account going by the name of Roger Wardell. At this point, it’s not quite sure where he’s getting his info from, but he certainly seems to have the inside scoop on a number of Marvel movie developments, having successfully revealed a number of previous casting decisions before any of the major news outlets got hold of it.
And according to Mr Wardell, not only was his info also pointing at a much more expanded role for the good doctor, but a certain Ranger of the North was already in negotiations for the part: Viggo Mortensen.
Now Mortensen would certainly be a big enough star to carry a film on his own, and he currently doesn’t have too much lined up so availability shouldn’t be that big of a deal, but I’m just not too sure about the casting itself. Strange was always came across a bit more almost aristocratic to me, which is not what I get when I see Mortensen. But hey, we live in a world where the pretty boy from 10 Things I Hate About You became the scariest (and arguably) greatest comic book movie villain of all time, so you’ll hear no further argument from me on that point.
It is worth noting though, that a different famous “neurosurgeon”, a certain Patrick “McDreamy” Dempsey of Grey’s Anatomy fame, has been lobbying since last year already for the part. And while I don’t quite rank him as highly as Mortensen on pure acting chops, I have to admit, he certainly does look the part more. Plus, you can just be damn sure that his name up in lights will be drawing in a whole new crowd of high-pitched moviegoers. I should know, my wife would be one of them.
All in all, it certainly is an exciting rumour that could just turn out to be so crazy that it had to be true. With just 2 months short of a year to Thor: The Dark World‘s proposed November 8, 2013 release date, I’m pretty sure that we’re going to be hearing some concrete news on this pretty soon, but until then we’ll keep you guys apprised of any further details we may find on the grapevine.
Last Updated: September 10, 2012